"If a person striving to propagate the correct teaching of the Buddha should hear and see others propounding the teachings of the sutras in a mistaken manner and fail to reproach them himself or, lacking the power to do that, fail to appeal to the sovereign and in this way take measures to correct them, then he is betraying the Buddha’s teaching. But if, as the sutras direct, he is not afraid of others but censures these slanderers himself and appeals to the sovereign to take measures against them, then he may be called a disciple of the Buddha and a true priest."
Thursday, December 31, 2015
"As an eternal principle, the Soka Gakkai will never ask for even the tiniest contribution of offering from the members." --Daisaku Ikeda
"As an eternal principle, the Soka Gakkai will never ask for even the tiniest contribution of offering from the members." --Daisaku Ikeda Seikyo Shimbun, June 16, 1962
$OKA GAKKAI'S MONEY COLLECTING ACTIVITIES
The Unification Church coerced its members to purchase strange objects like pottery and miniature pagodas. A court ordered them to pay compensatory reparations for their "Inspirational Business." However, the Soka Gakkai matches their perniciousness in taking advantage of people's weaknesses. No, in fact, the Soka Gakkai's money gathering techniques exceed those of the Unification Church. Their money collections from believers throughout the entire country, which are carried out under the designation "zaimu," and which are conducted by order of Honorary President Daisaku Ikeda, are absurd, and their practice to efficiently collect money with "bank transfers" is shameful.
Two women sought compensation against the Unification Church, saying they had been coerced by the Church into giving money. They say they were told, "Unless you make a donation, more misfortune will occur. Your (deceased) husband hopes for $500,000, or at the very least, $300,000." A decision in the "Inspiration Business" trial in Fukuoka handed down on May 17 recognized the responsibility of those within the Unification Church who had employed the coercion, and ordered a total payment of $37,600,000. It was an epoch-making decision.
However, Hiro Yamaguchi, a lawyer with "The Nationwide Liaison Association of Lawyers against the 'Inspiration Business,"' says, "They engaged in coercion and were ordered to pay the victims for the coercion that they used against them by June 3, but the Unification Church immediately filed an appeal, so we cannot yet breathe a sigh of relief. It is thought by the lawyers in charge of the case that as a next step, if the Unification Church cannot meet the payment, the Church will declare bankruptcy in order to avoid revealing their hidden assets. However, we are discussing the possibility of seeking their dissolution before they can do so, based upon Article 81 of the Religious Corporation Act."
Article 81 of the Religious Corporation Act states that when a religious corporation engages in conduct recognized as having greatly harmed the public good, and when its conduct greatly deviates from the goals of a religious body, it can be ordered to disband. In the same manner, Article 79 states that when a religious corporation engages in enterprises outside of its public works (that is, its religious activities), in opposition to the goals of a religious body, a halt to those enterprises can be sought. Mr. Yamaguchi continues, "However, up until now there has not been a single instance in which Articles 81 and 79 have been put into practice. In order to win such an unprecedented decision in a court of law, we must accumulate many lawsuit victories such as the one in the current Fukuoka decision. At the very least, in having a religious corporation disbanded on the grounds of it engaging in anti-social behavior, we want to have a clear court decision in which the religious corporation is found guilty of illegal activities."
However, it could be said that he has in mind the money collection activities of the Soka Gakkai, about which doubts about its conduct being illegal are stronger than those of the Unification Church. At any rate, the Soka Gakkai's tremendous money collection activities, which they call "zaimu" (financial affairs), is already common knowledge. Moreover, their current method of collecting money consists of "bank transfers." It is extremely efficient, organizationally. Such money collection activities are of a distinctly deviant nature from the donations which religious corporations collect from their believers for propagation
Journalist Isao Dan says, "To begin with, I have never heard of a religious corporation which collects donations through bank transfers. Whether the money covers operating expenses or organ subscription costs, we're talking about offerings to Buddhas and Buddhist deities. It is not at all the same as payments by bank transfer for receiving the NHK TV signal, and it would be extremely odd to say that it is.
One unit of Soka Gakkai zaimu is $100, and there is no limit to how much may be given above that amount. In the last Upper House election, Komeito received approximately 6,040,000 votes. 80% of those, or approximately 5 million, are thought to be Gakkai members who earnestly participate in Gakkai activities.
Last year zaimu was conducted for three and a half months, from September 13 until December 31. Zaimu collected by the Gakkai for one year ranges from $2 billion to $3 billion. I have even heard the number estimated at $3,900,000,000."
Vastly Different from Other Religious Bodies
Zaimu was originally introduced into the Gakkai in the decade between 1945 and 1955. At that time, only wealthy households were zaimu members, and they each donated 4,000 yen a year. (With the post-war exchange rate of 360 yen to one dollar, U.S., the amount would have come to just over 11 U.S. dollars.)
Mr. Isao continues. "However, this was gradually expanded, so that money was collected from the households of general members. From the early '70's, it extended beyond the aim of kosen-rufu. They began what they called 'special zaimu,' under the pretext of constructing facilities called Soka Culture Centers and of donating temples to the sect. Then, from 1977, it took the form of the current zaimu, where once a year they collect at least $100 per person. They used to call the people who collect zaimu, Zaimu Division members. They now call such people Kofu (Kosen-rufu) Division members."
When the current Honorary President Ikeda was reinstated as Sokoto (the General Head of the Hokkeko) in 1982, they escalated their money collecting activities, calling it "a mad dash forward." According to the journalist Masao Okkotsu (a Soka University graduate), "Previously, one unit of zaimu was $100 per person per year, but now there is no limit to how much a person can give above that amount. Money is even given in the name of children. It is not at all unusual for families who are not the least bit wealthy to give $10,000 or $20,000. Gakkai members who give more than $100,000 are called 'Diamond Members. Orders have been handed down from the Headquarters for chapter leaders to see how many 'Diamond Members' they can muster. There are even cases where the Gakkai has learned of a father passing away, and they have collected the money that he willed to the family."
From 1985, they instituted the "bank transfers" in big cities such as Tokyo on an experimental basis. From 1990, this was carried out on a nationwide basis. Mr. Okkotsu explains, "Before the 'bank transfers,' Gakkai members would assemble at the districts and chapters on the last Sunday of July and make cash donations only on that day. They would stuff their money into a cardboard box, and it would be conveyed to the Gakkai Headquarters, but leaders would pilfer the cash enroute to the Headquarters. This happened frequently. In addition, there was the danger of transporting large amounts of cash in an automobile, so they hit upon the idea of 'bank transfers.'"
However, as may be expected, there are no other religious groups which employ such conspicuous techniques. Rissho Koseikai, which has approximately 6 million believers, collects one dollar when someone joins and one dollar a month for operating expenses, as well as monetary donations they call "zaishi"(monetary offerings). However, a spokesman says,
"When members come to one of our 239 churches throughout the country, they place donations in a collection box, which we refer to as a 'donation box.' But we do not set the amount a person is to give, like the Soka Gakkai does. We do not set time periods or distribute blank bank transfer forms. And of course, there is absolutely never any coercion."
Seicho no Ie has approximately 800,000 believers. A spokesman says, "Members give monetary donations, which we call 'kenshi' (donated funds), and which are classified according to four rankings: $1 a month, $4 a month, $10 a month, and more than $100 a month. Also, aside from that, those who make a one-time donation of $1,000 or $10,000 are called Seicho no Ie Special Members. This is the designation we give to people who come with money and wish to donate it for something other than operating expenses. Most members make donations every month, but there is no donation amount stipulated as being 'special.' Everyone comes to the churches and each of them make their donations there."
The Soka Gakkai is referred to as a money collecting religious body, but with the bank transfers, they have further increased their efficiency. A former Gakkai district leader attests, "Officially there is no coercion in the Gakkai's zaimu activities, but in actuality, they are quite skilled in collecting zaimu. First of all, six months before payments are to commence, certificates of merit acknowledging Kofu Division members are passed out in each district. In addition, scarves used for wrapping prayer beads in are passed out as commemorative items. The designs on these scarves change every year, and the patterns have opportunity to give their experiences. They take such forms as, 'I gave this much and received this benefit, and thanks to zaimu, my business is prospering greatly.'
Members are given rankings of ABC, according to the extent of their faith. Then, when the zaimu is collected, members are made to write down how much they will donate this year and by what date it will be paid. Blank bank transfer forms are also passed out. If the proposed amount is paid, there is no problem, but when the money is not paid in the designated time or when the amount is less than proposed, district leaders go around to the members' homes and persuade them until the money is collected. They are relentless, making no allowances."
A Lawsuit for Repayment Turned Away at the Door
Well, what becomes of the tremendous amount of money collected? The previously introduced Mr. Dan says, "It is estimated that the cash the Gakkai currently holds is $20,040,000,000. Just the interest on that money is $70 million. Their primary disbursements are for real estate. They construct facilities and training centers all over the country, but recently, they have purchased castles in Italy and England. In addition, the personnel expenses for the Gakkai's 3,000 employees is a pretty fair amount. Aside from the above, they presumably also give money to the Soka schools."
However, a financial expert says that most of the money collected is invested in financial markets. "In the case of last year, money transferred to authorized accounts at banks in Tokyo was added up twice between September and November. The three extra months' worth of zaimu was received as 'pennies from heaven' and kept idle in the usual accounts. They thought it would be profitable if they lumped it all together and invested the large amount at fixed intervals. The money from the banks in Tokyo was amassed together at the Yotsuya branch of Mitsubishi Bank, the Gakkai's main bank and then invested in the zaimu department of each of the Tokyo banks. Then, in accordance with instructions from Mitsubishi Bank, the money was returned to the Yotsuya branch, and then remitted to banks and securities firms which pay high interest. Then it was deposited in a fixed account in the Postal savings system. There is also a recent report that it is being invested as a hedge fund for overseas, where they are speculatively vigorous."
Of course, a sufficient amount of money is converted into maneuvering capital and traveling expenses for when Daisaku, who loves honors and decorations, meets with overseas VIP's. This is not just talk to make the believers, who have submitted their savings, believing them to be offerings, feel like fools.
In response to this illegitimate usage of funds, lawsuits seeking repayment have occurred before now. There is the example of a suit being filed in a Tokyo court in 1979, where approximately 530 plaintiffs sought repayment of approximately $1,000 each, for a total of $500,000. However, according to a representative of the plaintiffs at the time, "Zaimu should be collected based upon the spirit of offerings, but it was not, so they wanted their money back. Our stand did not mesh with the Gakkai insistence that zaimu is capital used for kosen-rufu activities. In the end, the court decided that a courtroom is not the place to settle a religious problem, and they dismissed the lawsuit."
There is an instance which occurred after that, in 1982 in Kochi, where 72 people selected three people to represent them as plaintiffs in a lawsuit. In that instance, the Gakkai was ordered to repay approximately $7 million. Though the Gakkai appealed the decision, the very best they could do was reach a compromise to pay back $10,000 per person. According to one of the people involved at the time, "In that case, the Gakkai had at one time agreed to pay back the money, but they never paid it back, so the suit was not over a doctrinal problem. It was a fight against only a broken promise for repayment, so the lawsuit concluded in a victory for the plaintiffs. If the lawsuit had from the very beginning focused on doctrine, it probably would have been turned away at the door of the courthouse."
Its Very Existence Is Unconstitutional
However, there is no doubt that the Soka Gakkai's very existence is anti-social, seeing that it takes advantage of people's weakness, the same as the Unification Church. A Gakkai observer notes, "No. The Unification Church takes people's money, but at least they leave a pot to cook in. The Gakkai takes until there is nothing left. It's existence is evil from beginning to end." Professor Hirohisa Kitano of the Legal Department of Nihon University says, "The Soka Gakkai has been formally excommunicated from their Head Temple. They have no object of worship or anything else. They are nothing more than a collection of believers. Furthermore, their zaimu and bank transfers have no religious significance at all.
Despite all of that, the Gakkai is recognized as a religious corporation. That in itself is strange, and it is clearly in violation of the Constitution. Concretely speaking, it is first of all in violation of Article 20 of the Constitution. That is the article which stipulates the freedom of religion, but it also states that religious bodies are not to receive special rights from the State, and that those bodies are not to exercise governmental authority. They originally did not have tax exempt status, but now they do so this shows that they receive special rights from the State. In addition, they are in violation of Article 89, which stipulates that religious bodies are not to receive disbursements of public moneys. Not paying taxes which should be paid is the same as receiving disbursements of public moneys. Taxes of 35 -37% should be levied against the Gakkai's zaimu activities, the same as for enterprises in general. Even making a tremendous compromise and (hypothetically) acknowledging that the Gakkai is a religious corporation, still taxes of 27% percent should be levied against a non-profit organizations for- profit enterprises."
If we deal with the issue of separation of Church and State, it is impossible to consider as taboo the matter of the Gakkai's existence. Liberal Democrat (LDP) Diet member Yoshinobu Shimamura is following up on the Gakkai problem. He states, "Until now, we have wanted to avoid making the LDP and the Soka Gakkai enemies. We have emphasized peace at any price, but now no one is saying anything like that." If that is the case, then Honorary President Ikeda should either be summoned to appear before the the Diet or the Gakkai should be forced to disband.
"When a person’s offense is minor, admonishment is sometimes called for, but at other times it may be unnecessary, for there are those who may correct themselves without being told. Reprove a person for slander when necessary, so that you can forestall for both of you the consequences of an offense. Then, you should forgive that person. The point is that even minor slanders may lead to serious ones, and then the effects one must suffer would be far worse. This is [what Chang-an means when he writes], “One who rids the offender of evil is acting as his parent.” -- Nichiren
SGI members fall into the category of those who continuously slander the Law and thus are to be continuously reproved. They pretend to be foremost in upholding the precepts and I continuously point out how they break the precepts. I do this for their sake. I will forgive them when they correct their mistakes.
"Again, if anyone offers a three-thousand-great-thousandfold world full of the seven precious things in homage to buddhas, great bodhisattvas, pratyekabuddhas, and arhats, the merit this man gains is not equal to the surpassing happiness of him who receives and keeps but a single fourfold verse [Namu Myoho renge kyo] of this Law-Flower Sutra." -- Lotus Sutra Chapter 23 THE FORMER DEEDS OF MEDICINE KING BODHISATTVA
"Star Constellation King Flower! This sutra is that which can save all the living; this sutra can deliver all the living from pains and sufferings; this sutra is able greatly to benefit all the living and fulfill their desires. Just as a clear, cool pool is able to satisfy all those who are thirsty, as the cold who obtain a fire [are satisfied], as the naked who find clothing, as [a caravan of] merchants who find a leader, as children who find their mother, as at a ferry one who catches the boat, as a sick man who finds a doctor, as in the darkness one who obtains a lamp, as a poor man who finds a jewel, as people who find a king, as merchant venturers who gain the sea, and as a torch which dispels the darkness, so is it also with this Law-Flower Sutra; it is able to deliver all the living from all sufferings and all diseases, and is able to unloose all the bonds of mortal life." [ibid]
Believer #1 [KHK]: I'll take my Nichiren straight up
Believer # 2 [KHK]: I'll take a shot of Nichiren
Believer # 3 [KHK]: Make mine a double
Believer # 4 [SGI]: I'll have a Nichiren and water, lots of water please
Believer # 5 [NST] I'm in the mood for a mixed drink. How about a Sado Island Iced Tea with a shot of Nichiren, a splash of Tientai, a splash of Zen, and lots of Shingon.
Believer # 6 [NS]: I'll have a virgin Nichiren
Believer # 7 [HBS]: I'll have Nichiren with a glass of magic okozui water on the side.
Believer # 8 [Indy]: Hmm, let me see, um, um....
Daisaku Ikeda: Hello Shitso my good friend. How are you, the wife, and the consorts?
Shitso Abe: We are all fine. How about you, the wife, and your consorts?
Ikeda: We are all well, thank you my friend.
Abe: I need your help Tais...uh,uhh, Daisaku.
Ikeda: Anything for you Shitso. You have been so good to my envoy Nutso Yamaguchi. He's not too bright but he's very loyal.
Abe: Yes. That's what I like about him. [bowing very deeply] I am so grateful to you. There is no way I can repay you for having dropped every fundamental principle that you made believe that you held dear to support me on the military buildup thang and our plan to to alter Article 9...
Ikeda: Well there is something...
Abe: Please please, let me finish. I still need one itsy bitsy thing from you.
Ikeda: [Ikeda through his transcendent wisdom and abilities knows what Abe is going to say before he says it] No problema amigo. We have been keeping secrets since the elevator incident [Toda having passed on the SGI presidency to Ikeda in an elevator but according to some, Toda really had someone else in mind]. I can give you and Taro [Taro Aso, Shitso's pitbull deputy] a few pointers [wink, wink]. First thing, surround yourself with dumb as clams ministers who worship the ground you walk on and follow no matter what.
Abe: Already done!
Ikeda: Then lie through your teeth to them. They won't suspect a thing and if they do open their big traps, they will be telling the lies that you told them anyway.
Ikeda: I know. More importantly, always have contingency plans and policies. Say one thing today and another tomorrow and be sure to rewrite history, like the comfort women thang, the rape of Nanking, your dismal record on human rights, the trillions of yen stolen from the treasury, and the sex scandals...ah the sex scandals. That will keep them too busy to enquire about the quadrillions of beckerels leaking into the pacific ocean daily, and the thousands who are sick and dying.. Be sure to put out lots of meaningless statements.
Abe: AH SO!
Ikeda: Now Shitso, about the thing you can do for me.
Abe: Yes, yes, anything.
Ikeda: Please don't tell anyone I'm dead.
December 2013 lecture on the Three Tripitaka Masters Pray for Rain...Andy Nagashima shows a photograph of a rainbow over the new Soka Gakkai Headquarters building that he reports was on the day of the grand opening ceremony, Nov.18th 2013.
Same photograph at the 4:25 mark of the following video dated Oct. 25th 2013: "Published Oct. 25th 2013":
Ginny Benson director of the Ikeda Peace Center with Elise Boulding former peace activist and Alzheimer's patient:
Let us compare the faith of Jerry "Shinkei" Marcheso and Greg Romero with that of the late SGI study chief, Shin Yatomi
Nichiren [and the Lotus Sutra] teach,
"Thus you should understand that so long as a practitioner of the Lotus Sutra remains unwavering in faith, free of all false alliances, entrusting himself wholeheartedly to the Lotus Sutra and practicing in accordance with the Buddha’s golden words, he will without fail be able to prevent disaster and prolong his life in this present existence, to say nothing of in the life to come. Splendid recompense will be his, and he will fulfill his great vow to broadly proclaim and propagate the Lotus Sutra." -- Nichiren
"This good excellent medicine now I leave here. You should take and swallow it. Do not worry that you will not be cured." -- Lotus Sutra Chapter 16
"This Sutra then is the Excellent medicine for the sick people of Jambudvipa. If there shall be sick people who are able to hear this Sutra, the sickness shall at once dissipate and they shall not die before they grow old." -- Lotus Sutra Chapter 23
This is especially true in the case of a young person who embraces the Sutra according to Nichiren.
Since one will definitely overcome their illness with a correct faith, for example, Jerry Marcheso overcame a large malignant brain tumor and Greg Romero, a massive heart attack and stroke because of their correct faith. But Shin Yatomi was unable to overcome his illness precisely because his faith was warped ["I will definitely overcome my illness since I am a disciple of Sensei."]'
"However, Yamazaki was no more than a bubble on the surface of the water, as he attempted to swim through the ocean of Japanese society using the energy of the anti-Gakkai movement in Japan. Certainly, Yamazaki initiated an anti-Gakkai campaign by the press that started in 1977, but he did not create this groundswell on his own. Yamazaki was being used by the international secret intelligence agencies or domestic anti-Gakkai forces that had their own agendas." -- Soka Spirit
"It should be noted, however, that there was a total of 187 translators who carried out the task of transmitting the sutras from India to the land of China. With the exception of one man, the Tripitaka Master Kumārajīva, all the other 186, when they produced their translations, added water to the milk of the teachings and mixed poison with the medicine. But the various teachers and half-baked scholars, failing to understand this fact, do not realize that even if they were to recite the entire body of sutras or commit to memory all the twelve divisions of the scriptures, they would still find it difficult to escape the sufferings of birth and death."-- Nichiren
1). Nichiren chanted Nam Myoho renge kyo, not Namu Myoho renge kyo.
2). The prime point of the Lotus Sutra is the oneness of mentor and disciple.
3). The Lotus Sutra has lost it's power in Mappo.
4). Nichiren's true intent was inscribing the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary of the Essential Teaching in the second year of Ko’an (1279)…This Gohonzon is the root of all Gohonzon.
5). Nichiren Daishonin is the Eternal True Original Buddha, not Shakyamuni.
6). Copies of Nichiren inscribed Gohonzons issued by the Nichiren Shu and Kempon Hokke are absolutely powerless. In fact, they contain the power of evil spirits. That is why they are dangerous.
7). Nikko was Nichiren's sole heir.
8). Nichiren never enshrined nor worshipped a statue of Shakymuni Buddha.
9). SGI is the only unified body of believers spreading the Mystic Law.
10). Nichiren practiced interfaith.
"Finally, with regard to Treatise on the Nirvana Sutra, it is recorded that this treatise was written by Bodhisattva Vasubandhu and translated into Chinese by Bodhiruchi. [Treatise on the Lotus Sutra was also written by Bodhisattva Vasubandhu and translated by Bodhiruchi.] There are many places in treatises such as these that contradict the sutra texts. Treatise on the Nirvana Sutra likewise speaks in a manner that contradicts the sutra it is based upon, the Nirvana Sutra. You should realize that these are due to errors of the translator and that such passages are not to be trusted." -- Nichiren
SGI claims a rainbow appeared and a cherry tree blossomed during the opening ceremony for their Hall of the Great Vow of Kosen Rufu. Nichiren teaches that on the eighth day of April, the birthday of the Buddha, the following occurred:
"The eighth is the day on which Shakyamuni Buddha, the father of all people, was born. On that day thirty-two mystic phenomena occurred. First, flowers blossomed and fruit ripened on all the plants and trees. Second, every kind of treasure welled forth from the earth. Third, without a single drop of rain falling, water welled up in all the fields and paddies. Fourth, night became as bright as day. Fifth, not a single sorrowful voice was heard throughout the entire major world system. All of the other signs that appeared were as auspicious as these. From that time on, for a period of over 2,230 years, the eighth day has been selected for the holding of auspicious events."
Moreover, why does SGI celebrate the birth of a building or the day Ikeda made a trip to Disneyland but never once have they celebrated the birthday of Shakyamuni Buddha? Certainly, they are inferior even to the practitioners of the Lesser Vehicle.
Nichiren goes on to say:
"Moreover, now when everyone else in Japan has abandoned Shakyamuni Buddha, what roots of goodness from the past, I wonder, account for your believing in the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha, and for all of you not only gathering on the eighth day and making offerings, but sending flowers and incense to Nichiren deep in the mountains? How truly praiseworthy!
Can we be counted among those who have abandoned Shakyamuni Buddha? Can the Soka Gakkai? Think about this. You don't need to think hard about this.
SGI: "The prime point of Chapter 7 of the Lotus Sutra is the eternal bond of mentor and disciple."
Nichiren: "The prime point of Chapter 7 of the Lotus Sutra is major world system dust particle kalpas [sanzen-jintengo]."
"Many critricize the SGI for the notion that the SGI possesses vast amounts of wealth. Yet, how would it be possible for a true genuine and successful movement for world peace based on the wisdom of the inner most Dharma wisdom, at this time in human history, given the vast and sprawling nature of our global socio-economic system, to pursue such a lofty goal amidst the power and organization of so many nation-state systems to compete in the realm of ideas and value systems. " -- Etoro
Could you please site some clear passages from the Lotus Sutra and writings of Nichiren Daishonin to support your assertion? People hear and chant Namu Myoho renge kyo for free. The Gohonzon can be bestowed for pennies. Meeting with friends and family members also doesn't cost a dime. The Lotus Sutra costs twelve dollars and the writings of Nichiren Daishonin too are inexpensive or can be studied for free.
"Neither Buddhas nor gods would ever accept contributions from those who slander the correct teaching. Then how can we human beings accept them? The deity of Kasuga Shrine proclaimed through an oracle that he would accept nothing from those with impure hearts, though he should have to eat the flames of burning copper; that he would refuse to set foot in their homes, though he should have to sit on red-hot copper. He would rather come down to a miserable hut with weeds choking the passageway, or to a poor thatched house. He declared that he would never visit persons lacking in faith, even if they hung sacred festoons for a thousand days to welcome him, but that he would go to a house where the people have a mind of faith, even though they might be in mourning for a parent. Lamenting that slanderers have overrun this country, the benevolent gods have abandoned it and ascended to heaven. “Those with impure hearts” means those who refuse to embrace the Lotus Sutra, as is stated in the fifth volume of the sutra. If the gods themselves regard alms from slanderers as more abominable than the flames of burning copper, how could we human beings possibly accept them? If someone were to kill our parents and then try to offer us some gift, could we possibly accept it? Not even wise persons or sages can avoid the hell of incessant suffering if they accept offerings from slanderers. Nor should you associate with slanderers, for if you do, you will share the same guilt as they. This you should fear above all."
This is the place we live to enjoy happiness, not in the three hundred million dollarIkeda Hall for the Great Vow of Kosen rufu which houses a slanderous pseudo-Buddhist bureaucracy.
SGI should ask the Buddha and Buddhist gods for forgiveness for altering the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren. Then they should bestow upon their members a real Gohonzon, a copy of a Nichiren inscribed Gohonzon.
"The eyeless and earless may be excused, but let all those persons who have eyes and ears examine and heed these sutra passages. What persons now can say, “I read these sutra passages, I believe in them!” and yet direct all their hatred at Nichiren alone? If they truly believe these sutra passages, then let them call forth the [three types of] powerful enemies described in them and show proof that they do indeed read these passages and believe them. Unless they do so, then to be angry at Nichiren, who reads and recites these passages as they are intended to be read, is to be angry at the passages themselves, is it not? And to do so is to look with contempt on the envoy of the Buddha!"
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Monday, December 28, 2015
"The fact is that the Buddha of the Lotus Sutra has a life span that is immeasurable; he abides constantly in the world without ever entering extinction. But the Zen school, as we have seen, regards the Buddha as already having entered extinction, and therefore it may be said to embrace the view of the non-Buddhists that things cease to exist. This is an erroneous view that contradicts the golden words of the Buddha, “These phenomena are part of an abiding Law, [and] the characteristics of the world are constantly abiding.”
"Moreover, Mind Aspiring for Enlightenment [on which Kōbō bases his argument] is not even a sutra. To base one’s arguments on a treatise is to commit the error of turning one’s back on what is superior and following what is inferior. It also violates the Buddha’s teaching that one should 'rely on the Law and not upon persons.'”
"...But whether they are correct or incorrect in their views is to be judged solely on the basis of the doctrines they expound. It is not to be decided on the basis of whether or not they have keen capacity or can display supernatural powers."
Imagine a paradise on earth. What would it look like, sound like, smell like, taste like, feel like? Mine would be peace, happiness, harmony, liberty, joy, long, and pain free existences for every man, woman, child, gentle, loving, affectionate creature. Clean pure lakes, rivers, oceans, forests, and air. Freedom of speech, movement, and belief. Freedom from abrasive speech, crude speech, abusive speech, violent and hateful speech. A land of comforting souls, loving souls, kind souls, laughter and smiles. Gentle rains, cool breezes, warm sunny days. Families, states, nations, regions and a world without conflict. Relationships lasting an entire lifetime without a cross word bespoken. Honesty. Equality. Sharing. Encouragement. Creativity. The smell of lilacs, roses, lilies. The taste of sweet dew. Death in sleep in a loved one's arms after a full, rich, and rewarding day. Now compare it to the reality in which we live. Is there a way to bridge the chasm? Is there a way to create a paradise here on earth? When? How? The Buddha and Nichiren teach that when the Mystic Law alone flourishes and all the people chant in one voice, Namu Myoho renge kyo, there will be a paradise here on earth.
"Persons who do not fully understand this sutra, the Lotus, look at passages in the sutra that say that, if one reads the sutra, one will be reborn in the human or heavenly realms; they look at passages that speak of going to the Tushita heaven or the heaven of the thirty-three gods; or they look at passages that speak of rebirth in [Amida’s] land of Peace and Sustenance; and they suppose that though one may practice the teachings of the Lotus Sutra in this impure land of ours, and though its principles may be very admirable, one cannot hope thereby to reach the stage where there is no more regression in one’s progress to enlightenment. So they assert that one must continue to be reborn again and again for long ages in this impure land, hoping for the dawn of [Maitreya’s] appearance some 5,670 million years in the future; or they claim that, when one is reborn in the realm of animals or that of human beings, the process of rebirth blots out all memory of previous existences and hence one can never put an end to one’s sufferings. Still others object that the Lotus Sutra represents a type of self-empowered religious practice and hence is very difficult to carry out.
Errors of this kind in all likelihood come from a failure to distinguish between the two roads to salvation, that put forward in the sutras prior to the Lotus and that of the Lotus. Persons who propound such views not only lead themselves astray into the darkness of delusion, but they blind the Buddha eye of all living beings.
The idea that one should seek rebirth in the Tushita heaven is found frequently in the Hinayana sutras, and in a few cases in the Mahayana sutras as well. The idea that one should strive for rebirth in the Western Paradise is found in many Mahayana sutras. All these passages are examples of that which should be opened up and merged [with the Lotus Sutra].
But according to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, the Tushita heaven is to be counted among the lands of the Buddhas of the ten directions, the Western Paradise too is none other than one of the lands of the Buddhas of the ten directions, and the realms of human and heavenly beings are none other than such lands. When the Lotus Sutra addresses evil persons, it speaks of the evil that is a part of the Ten Worlds, and assures them that, since evil persons too are endowed with the five types of vision, even the most evil of all persons are capable of being saved. When it addresses women, it assures them that women are endowed with the Ten Worlds and that women in any of the Ten Worlds can attain Buddhahood. So long as one, through the Lotus Sutra, sets one’s mind on the attainment of perfect and true enlightenment, one can never be dragged back into the nine realms of unenlightened existence by the power of karma."
"Then the Buddha said: Listen carefully. You must not propagate it in the first millennium of the Former Day of the Law or in the second millennium of the Middle Day following my death. In the beginning of the Latter Day of the Law, slanderous monks will fill the land of Jambudvīpa, so that all the heavenly gods will demonstrate their rage, comets will appear in the sky, and the earth will quake like the movement of huge waves. Innumerable disasters and calamities, such as drought, fires, floods, gales, epidemics, famine, and war, will all occur at once. The people of Jambudvīpa will don armor and take up bows and staves, but since none of the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, or benevolent deities will be able to help them, they will all die and fall like rain into the hell of incessant suffering. At this very time, rulers can save their countries and the people be freed from calamities and in their next life escape the great fires of hell if they embrace and believe in this great mandala of the five characters.'”
SGI Quarterly staff: How can religion come to be seen as a "savior of humanity," not a threat to humanity?
Patriarch Bartholomew: On the sixth day of creation, God created man and woman in His divine image and likeness. Yet, what most people overlook is that the sixth day is not dedicated to the formation of Adam alone. That sixth day was shared, according to the Book of Genesis, with "living creatures of every kind; cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the Earth.î This close connection between humanity and the rest of creation is a powerful reminder of our intimate relationship with the environment. While there is undoubtedly something unique about our creation in God's image, there is more that unites us than separates us, not only as human beings but also with creation. It is a lesson we have learned the hard way in recent decades. The connection is not merely emotional; it is profoundly spiritual, providing a sense of continuity and community as well as an expression of identity and compassion with all of creation. In the seventh century, Abba Isaac the Syrian said: "A merciful heart burns with love for all creation: for human beings, birds and beasts--for all God's creatures." When we recognize this connection, then we shall be instruments of peace and life, not tools of violence and death. Then everything will assume its divine purpose, as God originally intended for the world."
Nichiren Daishonin: "I expounded this principle a long time ago, so it should not be new to you. One of the six stages of practice in the perfect teaching is the stage of perception and action. At this stage “one acts as one speaks and speaks as one acts.” Those at the stage of being a Buddha in theory only and at the stage of hearing the name and words of the truth believe in the perfect teaching; but even though they praise it, their actions fail to reflect their words. For example, countless people study the non-Buddhist works known as the Three Records and the Five Canons, but not even one case in ten million is found where a person governs society and behaves as the texts teach. Thus it is very difficult to establish peace in society. One may be letter-perfect in reciting the Lotus Sutra, but it is far more difficult to act as it teaches. The “Simile and Parable” chapter states, “If this person... on seeing those who read, recite, copy, and uphold this sutra, should despise, hate, envy, or bear grudges against them...” The “Teacher of the Law” chapter reads, “Since hatred and jealousy toward this sutra abound even when the Thus Come One is in the world, how much more will this be so after his passing?” The“Encouraging Devotion” chapter reads, “Many ignorant people will attack us with swords and staves... again and again we will be banished.” The “Peaceful Practices” chapter states, “It [the Lotus Sutra] will face much hostility in the world and be difficult to believe.” Although these quotations from the sutra are the Buddha’s prophecies, there is no reference to when these persecutions will occur. In the past, Bodhisattva Never Disparaging and the monk Realization of Virtue read and lived these passages. But setting aside the two thousand years of the Former and Middle Days of the Law, now, in the Latter Day, in all Japan only Nichiren seems to be doing so. From the present situation, I can well imagine how followers, relatives, disciples, and lay supporters must have grieved in the past when during the reigns of evil kings so many of their sage monks met persecution.
Nichiren has now read [and lived] the entirety of the Lotus sutra. Even a single phrase or verse assures one's enlightenment; since I have read the entire sutra, how much more certain is my enlightenment. I am more confident than ever. Though I may sound presumptuous, my most fervent wish is to realize the the security and peace of the entire land. In an age when none will heed me, however, it is beyond my power. I will close now to keep this brief."
Commentary: How much more difficult to create peace and harmony with the Bible and Q'uran as your guide?
SGI: "Joining the Ramadan forum gave us a clear understanding about the culture and philosophy of our Muslim brothers and sisters," commented Pogi Figuracion, an SGI-Philippines young men's group member. "Although we have different beliefs, we share a common goal to help achieve peace and deeper understanding in Mindanao, the Land of Promise."
Nichiren: "[In ancient China] the royal consorts Mo Hsi, Ta Chi, and Pao Ssu were charming in manner and excelled all others in beauty. But because the rulers in their foolishness became infatuated with them, these women brought about the downfall of the nation. And now Zen priests, Precepts priests, and Nembutsu advocates of our own time such as Shōichi, Dōryū, Ryōkan, Dōami, Nen’ami, and other teachers of their kind are like domestic pigeons that peck at filth, or like the beautiful Hsi-shih who deceived the king of Wu. They adhere to their Hinayana precepts, which are like stinking waste or donkey’s milk,..."
Question: 2. Do I Have to Change Religions to Chant?
Answer: No. You can keep practicing whatever religion brings you joy. Just remember that when you chant to the Gohonzon that it is NOT a GOD. The Gohonzon is your own life, so don't beg when you chant. When you chant to the Gohonzon you are declaring what you want.
Response: Follow Jamie or those like her and you will fall into the lower worlds of existence as sure as an arrow aimed at the earth could never miss the target.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
"A sad but true fact we must solemnly recognize is that the corruption of priests began soon after Shakyamuni's death. Religion is always in danger of growing apart from the people when its leaders forget to reflect carefully on their own behavior and come to look upon themselves as authorities" -- Daisaku Ikeda
"All of you should prepare yourselves mentally for what may come. Do not let concern for wife and children or other family members deter you. Do not fear those in authority. Now is the time to break free from the bonds of this realm of birth and death and to obtain the fruit of Buddhahood!"
"Those people [the lay priest of Kawanobe and the others] are very important supporters of mine. But although I have prayed on their behalf so hard that my head was about to split, so far there has been no indication of my prayers being answered. It would seem that someone among them is wavering in faith. If one prays for a person who is not properly responsive in mind, it is like trying to light a fire on top of water, or to build a house in the empty air. Please convey these thoughts of mine to the four men. They should keep in mind that my prediction regarding the actions of the Mongol kingdom has come true. It will be no fault of Nichiren [if the prayer is not answered]."
I have been calling for a formal debate with the SGI for more than 16 years. I have contacted SGI-Japan, SGI-USA, and made my debate proposals well known. I have received letters from both Al Albergate and Greg Martin and they have refused to take me up on my proposals. The following are the topics I proposed for the debate:
1). The identity and significance of the Original Eternal Buddha
2.) The nature of the Master/Disciple relationship in Nichiren Buddhism
3.) The significance of the Gohonzon
1). The identity and significance of the Original Eternal Buddha
2.) The nature of the Master/Disciple relationship in Nichiren Buddhism
3.) The significance of the Gohonzon
"The Lotus Sutra states, “Medicine King, now I say to you, I have preached various sutras, and among those sutras the Lotus is the foremost!” Here the Buddha is referring to all the teachings that he has expounded and stating that among these the Lotus ranks in first place. The Buddha’s preaching and the writings of the Great Teacher Kobo are as much at variance with each other as are fire and water. We should investigate and clarify this matter."
The SGI's teachings are as much at variance with the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin as Kobo's. Their delusion is denying the importance of a correct faith and correct doctrine.
"If among my disciples there are those whose faith is weak and paltry, then when they are on their deathbed, they will manifest signs that they are destined for the Avīchi hell. And at that time, they must not hold me to blame!" -- Nichiren
"People have regarded the two of you as surely having already yielded, but you have acted in an admirable manner. You probably think this is solely due to the power of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra. I believe this also. No words can express the promise of your next existence. From now on too, no matter what may happen, you must not slacken in the least. You must raise your voice all the more and admonish [those who slander]. Even if your life should be threatened, you must not falter in the least." - Nichiren
"It's probably on the way to twenty years ago that I first heard about a conversation between President Ikeda and the Vatican ambassador to Japan of that time, concerning inter-faith relationships. It has remained vividly in my memory and since then I have often recalled his words when answering members' questions on this subject.
Just recently, this same historic meeting has become a focal point for reflection once again, for Sensei has expressed his view that the time has come in the movement for kosen-rufu for dialogue with other religions to be initiated.'We look upon you as our elder brother, Sensei said at the time. 'As younger brothers, you may find us more energetic, but it would be absurd for us in the future to argue over converts."
Doe eyes all around him, uncritical and unlearned, nodding in awe as he gives another shallow self-serving SGI "Gosho" lecture in which no more than a line or two of the Gosho, Letter to the Lay Priest Nakaoki, was actually discussed. There was such a disconnect between the Gosho and the lecture as to make the Gosho unrecognizable. Dozens and dozens of lines of Ikeda's commentary was lectured upon but the main, points of the Gosho were not touched. How could they have been? The thrust of the lecture, SGI interfaith, is clearly and matter of fact rebuked by the Daishonin and the great benefit of the exclusive faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra and the forceful practices are heralded [by Nichiren] in this Gosho. A warning too, for those who would persecute the true votaries:
"...Therefore, all these Buddhas and gods will punish those who persecute the votary of the Lotus Sutra, even more severely than one would chastise an enemy of one’s parents, or than the ruler punishes rebels..."
This is actual proof that those who chant Namu Myoho renge kyo and who ceaselessly admonish the Soka Gakkai are true votaries of the Lotus Sutra. Were SGI members votaries, it would be we, rather than they, who are being punished.
More importantly, Greg Martin, invoked the fake Taisekaji plank, the DaiGohonzon. This Gosho was written in November of 1279, one month after the transubstantiated plank was supposed to have been inscribed but not a sentence nor a word was written about the so-called "very reason for Nichiren's advent". Instead, we read about the power of a memorial tablet merely inscribed with the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra:
"...How much greater still will be the blessings of those human beings who rejoice at this tablet, touch it with their hands, or gaze upon it with their eyes! I believe that because of the benefit derived from your erecting this wooden tablet, your deceased parents must be illuminating the path to the pure land as brilliantly as would the sun and moon in the heavens. Furthermore, you yourselves, their filial son and his wife, as well as your children, will live to be 120 in this existence, and after death you will be with your parents in the pure land of Eagle Peak. You should consider this to be as certain as the fact that the moon is reflected in clear water, or that a drum produces a sound when struck. Should you erect any wooden tablets in the future, be sure to have the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra inscribed on them as well."
"If one lacks faith [in the Lotus Sutra], one will object that it pertains to the lofty realm of the sages." - Nichiren
"Great Concentration and Insight says: 'If one lacks faith [in the Lotus Sutra], one will object that it pertains to the lofty realm of the sages, something far beyond the capacity of one’s own wisdom to comprehend. If one lacks wisdom, one will become puffed up with arrogance and will claim to be the equal of the Buddha.'”
I am Rev. Ryuei McCormick (Ryuei is my Dharma name, Michael is my secular given name). I also have had a lot of experience with Soto Zen and with Korean Buddhism in addition to being a Nichiren Shu minister (since 2001). So I'd like to offer some advice.
First of all - the Lotus Sutra assumes you know a LOT. It is very hard to read unless you already know the basics of Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism. Having a study guide (a kind of Cliff's Notes) helps. I would recommend "Introduction to the Lotus Sutra" by Shinjo Suguro. As for the Lotus Sutra itself, before long the Nichiren Shu will be publishing a new edition of the translation by Senchu Murano, which is the one we use for our study and liturgies. However, I would also recommend the Lotus Sutra translation by Gene Reeves as being very accessible and also including translations of the opening and closing sutras of the so-called Threefold Lotus Sutra.
You can get the Intro book here from the Nichiren Buddhist International Center:
As for Nichiren's writings the Nichiren Shu is publishing a seven volume set in English of his writings. Six of those have already come out. They are also available through the Nichiren Buddhistm International Center bookstore.
But even more than the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren's writings are difficult to understand without a LOT of background and context - esp. in T'ien-t'ai Buddhist terminology and the context of 13th century Japanese Buddhist politics and sectarianism. To help with that I have been writing commentaries on my blog on Nichiren's major writings. The links to them can be found on this page:
Oh and on that page you can also find a link to Dharma Flower, my online book about Nichiren Buddhist teachings. You might even want to read that first.
Now as far as practice goes I also have a page with articles about practice:
Those articles should help you learn what you need to learn about how to actually practice Nichiren Buddhism. I think you might find Shodaigyo Meditation (article 7 on the practice page) to be particularly suitable for you as it is both minimalist, good for kids in that regard, and incorporates silent sitting practice.
Please read those through and feel free to ask any questions here about any particulars.
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo,
"In my own experience I have had friendly conversation with SGI leaders (even paid staff – though these were strictly unofficial off the record informal talks), I have been lent the use of a Nipponzan Myohoji Temple, Nichiren Shu ministers often have meetings with and dialogues with their counterparts in the other schools, Theravadin monks often visit Nichiren Shu temples and facilities and vice versa for the sake of learning and Buddhist solidarity, and in fact at the meeting I just attended in Tokyo at Nichiren Shu’s home office, a Christian minister (Swedenbourgian) gave an all day seminar on pastoral counseling for the Nichiren Shu ministers interested in pursuing that.”
What kind of kings of the Law are "Nichiren" Shu priests who consult a Christian minister to find out how to “minister” to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth? They are frauds.
The Wadas, Hojos, Nakajimas, and Kanedas are the Japanese Borgias and Medicis and Ikeda is the Japanese Pope. Ironically [or not so ironically], SGI's center in Florence Italy is the most beautiful Villa of Medici ever built. Ikeda and his dukes act contrary to the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin who never advocated acquisitions, just as the Popes', Borgias' and Medicis' practices ran counter to the teachings of Jesus and St. Francis. Certainly, the Borgias, Medicis, and Sokaisti have in common the practice of corruption and SGI brings 70,000 votes into the pocket of Renzi whose party recently won only a close victory in local elections.